If you've spent more than three seconds in Toronto you'll have heard of the Drake. Once a flophouse, the 19-room property was transformed by ex-dotcommer Jeff Stober, who devoted $5 million and two years to building something Toronto lacked - a multi-purpose HQ of hipdom. Public rooms artfully blend the original trimmings of mahogany, terrazzo floors and steel railings with rotating art exhibits and the odd performance piece: don't be surprised to catch a striptease on the stairway or a spoken word act while you're eating your eggs Benedict. Though wired for the 21st century, with flat-screen TVs, CD and DVD players and high-speed net access, the 'crash-pads' are not for the claustrophobe. The basement provides a venue for eclectic performances. Queues form to get into the funky street-level bar and Sky Yard on the roof (heated in winter). The Corner Café, a restaurant and a raw bar round out the attractions. Naysayers say the Drake tries too hard to be cool, but it has certainly brightened up West Queen West.